To the editor:

Horses and horse racing are deeply rooted in Wyoming’s history, and given the economic benefits of parimutuel events, I can’t fathom why anybody would vote NO in this November election. In 2019, parimutuel events contributed $3,216,636 to the Wyoming Breeders Award Fund, which is designed to encourage and foster the breeding and racing of Wyoming-bred horses.

Total city and county revenue generated by HHR (Historical Horse Racing) in the State of Wyoming in 2019 totals almost $8 million. Sheridan County, which is similar in population to Park County, realized $341,178 in county tax revenue, while the city of Sheridan realized $341,178 as well  (total city/county tax revenue of nearly $700,000 in 2019). 

The financial impact of horse racing in Wyoming is substantial. Overall, the Wyoming horse racing industry generates more than $62 million annually for the state’s economy with an annual employment of around 500 jobs.

Fifty percent of restaurants and bars are not expected to open or survive the 12 months subsequent to re-opening from COVID. Local, established facilities which can house historic horse racing machines and simulcasting will benefit from the increase in patrons and liquor and food sales. 

This is in addition to the increase in local employment, and additional tax revenue above and beyond revenue from wagering.

By voting to approve parimutuel wagering, jobs in Park County will be generated, Wyoming horses will benefit and a substantial amount of revenue will be realized by Park County.

If you want jobs in Park County, generate revenue without increasing taxes and actually realize revenue from a form of wagering that already exists here (but currently pays no taxes to Park County), then residents should vote to approve and adopt parimutuel wagering in Park County on the 2020 general election.

(s) wade brown


(1) comment

Jim Jones

Fathom this, Wade. Gambling is not nor has it ever been the way to strengthen the economy. Covid-19 has lowered disposable income and, according to Mckinsey and Company and Oxford Economics, it is not expected to return to pre-crisis levels until the second quarter of 2024. Your notion of increasing city and county income by having residents gamble money they don't have is absurd. Gambling disposable income instead of spending it on goods and services from local businesses is bad for the economy. Doing so when disposable income is down is just plain idiocy.

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